This focus-enhancing soundtrack is the key to a productive 2017


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/01/06/this-focus-enhancing-soundtrac.html


#2

AI generated elevator music? To enhance your brain? Hmmm.


#3

I signed up for this the last time they featured it on here. I don’t know if the ‘science-y’ stuff is actually working, but the focus tracks definitely help block out noise. And without lyrics or any catchy melodies or anything it definitely helps me focus. I’ve been happy with it so far.


#4

Annoyingly, they make you choose a binary gender (and don’t let you proceed until you do). They even change the background to a young girl in a pony tail if you choose female. Insulting and tone-deaf.


#5

Well I can definitely believe that, although a Brian Eno CD is much cheaper. But as for magical musical brain enhancement, well I’d like some science with that, thanks.


#6

Yeah, I immediately wondered whether gender and age would be relevant to an AI composer but I don’t see how. Not for this sort of thing. I was somewhat interested but this feels like excessive data collection. Also the apparent lack of an Android app could be a problem. Maybe it works through a mobile web browser but since I don’t use my work PC for anything personal I’d need to know whether I can listen to this via my phone before I even considered handing over my information.


#7

I work with words all day; music with lyrics drives me nuts. My current heavy rotation ‘productivity’ music:


#8

In order for me to be able to focus and study while my brother and his partying friends rioted in the rest of the house, I would don headphones and tune into static between stations. That worked for me; may not for others.


#9

Not sure how scientifically valid it is, but it’s free:


#10

Or, people could stop being forced to work in ridiculous ‘open offices’ and be expected to do work that requires actual concentration.


#11

Snarky comments about Brian Eno aside, I’ve used his track “Neroli: Thinking Music, Part IV” for years as mental concentration background music. And there is a Neroli setting in his generative music app Bloom.


#12

Techno-woo.


#13

I also love the classic “Music for Airports” and “Apollo” albums. Wonderful background music or just… music.

I’ve been digging the stuff Eno’s been doing with Karl Hyde from Underworld. It’s not ambient by a long shot but it’s fun stuff— here’s "DBF" and “Lilac” from their most recent album.


#14

My guess is at the core this product makes sure of binaural entrainment to alter brain waves into a “more focused” state. My understanding of (and skeptical take on) the science:

Research has shown that if you play two closely related tones in each ear independently the beat frequency does entrain brian waves at that frequncy. So, for example, if one ear hears 440 Hz and another hears 444, it will induce a 4 Hz (theta) wave in the brain.

But what hasn’t been shown in research (at least the last time I checked) is that this matters. Yes, you can induce an alpha or a theta brain wave, but what hasn’t been shown is that this wave affects your consciousness in the same way that a naturally arising one would.


#15

I saw this performed live once (by Bang on a Can) and it was utterly amazing. They pulled it off. I never would have guessed that it could have been scored and performed, but it was.

I was tired by the time I got to the performance, and I kept kind of drifting in and out of sleep. It was a perfect way to see it, as it turns out!


#16

I like this one:

https://simplynoise.com/


#17

Brian Eno has been my go-to work music for years (I’m a digital artist, lots of time in front of the computer).


#18

Thank you! :smiley:


#19

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